HAGERSTOWN, Md. (WDVM) — Maryland Department of Commerce Secretary Kelly Schulz took a tour of the Hagerstown Aviation Museum on Tuesday.
After learning about the operations there, Schulz prepared for liftoff on the museum’s 1943 PT-19, a two-seat, open cockpit training plane in World War II.
“It was absolutely extraordinary. Something like I’ve never experienced before,” said Schulz.
The PT-19 was in some ways, known as the “cradle of aviation for the pilots back then,” according to John Seburn, President of the Hagerstown Aviation Museum.
She is also believed to be the first sitting Maryland cabinet-member to have flown in a PT-19. Less than 90 of this type of aircraft are said to be still flyable.
Later in the morning, the Hagerstown Aviation Museum renamed the plane to “Miss Kelly.”
“It’s really sweet and nice and it’s a part of history,” said Schulz. “It’s an honor.”
Discussions also included future plans for the museum to find a home for all the airplanes, most of which were built locally, a significant fact for locals and iconic for the Hagerstown Aviation Museum.
Schulz also met with elected officials in Washington County to discuss economic development issues in the area.